Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011 to you! I hope this day finds you happy and healthy! Do you have a resolution? I am always hesitant to start a new year's resolution — knowing full well that I give up about mid-January! LOL! I know who I am and that I am not perfect…but with age also comes the knowledge that striving for perfection is a surefire road to disappointment.

Instead, I've learned to try and do better a bit at a time — eat a LITTLE healthier, work out ONE more day than I did last week, and most importantly set aside a BIT of time to be with the ones I love. I end up alot closer to being a better me than I would if I dove in headfirst with unrealistic expectations, only to fail again and disappoint myself in the process.

So, here's to being PERFECTLY imperfect! Won't you join me?

To celebrate the new year, I've created a little freebie brushset for you!



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My Buddy…



I miss my Dad.

Some days are worse than others… today being one of them. I love this picture of our "Papa" because even he looks just like a little boy to me here. He looks so happy and excited by his birthday celebration and more like it was his 9th birthday instead of his 93rd!

Somedays I ask God for a sign that my dad is safe, in heaven with his family and especially with my mom. I light candles at Mass and pray for him. I talk to him sometimes at night. I still cry myself to sleep.

I dreamt about my Dad once since he passed. It was what Ellie calls a "Spirit Dream". The kind that even though you are asleep and dreaming feel like you're awake. In it my dad was doing what he always loved … watching Ellie. Instead of being a baby though Ellie was her current age.  He was just sitting on my bed watching Ellie play on the computer. I walked in the room and couldn't believe my eyes! There was my Dad. I kept asking him how he could possibly be here when he was dead! He just looked at me with a knowing smile, like he always did, and said "Hey, you asked for a sign that I was okay." LOL!

I kept squeezing his arm to make sure he was real. It all felt very real to me. Then I woke up.

Sometimes in the car, I turn my satellite radio to "40's on 4". Listening to the music of this era always makes me feel close to my dad. This morning, I heard the tale end of a song my dad used to tell me about called "My Buddy". Somehow, the words felt like they were being spoken directly to me from dad. It made my day.

My Buddy

Life is a book that we study
 Some of its leaves bring a sigh
There it was written by a buddy
That we must part, you and I
Nights are long since you went away
I think about you all through the day
My buddy, my buddy
Nobody quite so true
Miss your voice, the touch of your hand
Just long to know that you understand
My buddy, my buddy
Your buddy misses you
Miss your voice, the touch of your hand
Just long to know that you understand
My buddy, my buddy
Your buddy misses you
Your buddy misses you, yes I do

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A Year of Lessons…

2009 was a bittersweet year for me. I lost my Dad in June. He was 93 and was my biggest fan and one of my best friends.

With this great loss, I began to take stock of where I was at and one thing that stood out to me (and ironically was something my dad was always lecturing me about) was that I needed to SLOW DOWN. It seems that I'm not happy unless I'm going full-speed ahead. With business, workouts, schedules, etc, etc.

This year I finally understood what my dad meant. In my grieving process, I slept alot. Instead of going to the gym during the summer, I stayed home with Ellie. I worked less, we slept in, played, went on bike rides and long walks to the grocery store. We took the dogs. Somewhere along the line, I ended up enjoying myself immensely.

I was more relaxed. I ate healthier. I lost weight. I began to feel like my old self.

I also learned some important lessons this year. I would like to say that I did this by reading profound and insightful books. Or that I took a life-changing course at the local college. But I didn't. I learned from observing other people that I admire to see traits in them that I would like to adopt. My husband, friends, other moms at Ellie's school, family members and even my beautiful Ellie.

Here are some things I've learned in '09:

– Walk your talk.
– Speak from the heart.
– Enjoy what you do.
– Be authentic (this one is for my friend Lisa! who I greatly admire for this trait).
– Be consistent (thank you John)
– Serving others is a quick route to God (and peace in your heart).
– Laughing really is good medicine.
– Live in the present.
– Be grateful. For EVERY thing.
– Each day is a gift. Not a given.
– Say you're sorry.
– Be honest even if you're afraid.
– Don't make excuses.
– Document your life's events for the next generation (this is for Gabi!)
– It's never too late to change.
– Love is the only thing that matters.
– Keep your promises.
– Question everything (even some of your own thoughts).
– Reach out to others.
– When friends ask you out, say YES! 🙂 —-> for Heidi, Amy, Gail & esp. Deb!
– Every day is beautiful (even in cloudy, overcast Michigan)
– Try something new whenever you can.
– Turn off the TV once in a while.
– Reading is fundamental.
– Dancing to pop music is fun.
– Dog, spelled backward, is God. (Thank you sweet E!)

Have a Blessed and Beautiful 2010!

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Two Old Friends in Love….


This is my dearest friend Debi with another childhood friend, Ken, back in 1985. Ken was part of the group in middle school (and even into high school) that we called "The Court Gang". We used to hang out most days after school and pretty much all weekends at the houses in a cul-de-sac in our subdivision. It was me, Deb, Anne, Jill, Diane, Wanda, Mary, Amy along with Ken, Rusty, Greg, John. We had so much fun back then and some crazy memories! We've talked about having a "court reunion" for so many years now.  Here we are way back then….


Everything seemed to center at Ken's house. He was an amazing photographer (and still is!) and was warm, kind and had a quick wit. I joke that I think we all had crushes on him!  He dated our dear friend Annie for a while until she moved to Indiana, but I always suspected, even back then that he was sweet on Deb (most of the court guys were! LOL!).

Well, fast forward to current time and social networking! Last December I convinced Deb to get on Facebook. Meanwhile, Ken's little brother was getting him on FB too! The rest they say, is history (or more like Fate, I believe).  Here they are together — don't they look happy!? I think Deb has never looked more beautiful! She is just glowing! 


And the best part of all this is today Deb called to tell me that they're getting married and that I am the maid of honor! This is the best news I've heard in a while. I love you Deb and can't wait until May! Didn't I tell you that good things were coming and when they came they'd be GREAT!!?? The best things in life are worth the wait!


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I came back from the Digital Scrapbook Experience in Provo full of ideas and energy. I loved meeting all my online buddies in real life. There is simply no words to tell you what it feels like! Teaching the ladies (and one man!) there how to digi-scrap was an absolute blast. It was incredibly satisfying to watch the things we were teaching them click, to see the light bulbs go on overhead and especially to witness their excitement in being able to create a layout quickly and easily using quickpages & templates. Thank you to our students for being so laid back and fun. Here are a few shots that were not posted on the blog or Facebook


The lobby sign…


Sammy's where we all met the last day to have burgers & shakes


My SA Peeps — Rachel & Amber


Here I am with Anna Aspnes (a truly beautiful person)



Utah Beauty

My remote office is now in Northville, Michigan at the Tuscan Café! {Remind me to add the address it to my SA letterhead} Okay I don't have company letterhead, but if I did, I would so be adding it.



I can drop Ellie off to school and come here. They have free internet, amazing coffee, yummy baked goods and grilled sandwiches. And they use all Zingerman's goodies to make it! How can it get any better than this?

I really feel my dad with me today since I posted his memorial video on FB. The coolest thing is while I was at the coffee shop today I saw this….

Tpines1 copy

My dad owned his own Twin Pines delivery business for almost 20 years! With the milk truck in our driveway we were able to go get ice cream and chips whenever we wanted! Plus the neighbors used to come over to buy milk & bread from him late on Sunday nights when all the stores were closed. I grew with Milky The Clown.

I love you daddy! I miss you!


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Blog? What’s a blog?

I have been taking a much-too-long break away from my blog! It's time to come back!

been a busy last few months, with the NSD preparation, ScrapArtist
birthday and the site redesign. There has not been much time for
designing. Now, the summer months are coming and my garden has been
calling to me. We installed a new patio section and propagated some
hastas this past week.


The bike paths call too and today I answered them!


took my bike out to an amazing park in Ann Arbor that runs along the
Huron River. They also have canoe rentals and I noticed a few moms and
their small children rowing away down the river. I thought that was so
cool – to take them out to see all this gorgeous nature. The looks on
their faces were priceless.

I also saw some other parents and
their babies – Swans! These birds were amazing! They were absolutely
huge and when I tried to get close up to snap a photo, the biggest one
— maybe the dad? — gave me a look which made me keep my distance. LOL!
The babies were so tiny and beautiful. This is one day that I wished
for my Rebel and macro lens as opposed to my iPhone camera. But, hey,
you use what you got right?

Here they are on land…


And then they decided to all go for a swim…


Ahhh… it was a great start to the day.

Ellie has her band concert. I am a bit nervous as she hasn't really
been practicing too much, but I will be proud to hear her, along with
the small junior band, nonetheless.


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Morning routine

Feb 11 09, originally uploaded by nrjanitz.

My morning routine is this…

Get up.
Go Potty 🙂
Get dressed.
Wake up Belle.
Let the dogs out.
Turn on GMA.
Make my coffee.
(or as of late a latte)
Make breakfasts.
Feed dogs.
Drink coffee, while I…
Pack E's lunch.
Fill E's water bottle.
Sign any forms.
Scream at E to hurry.
Eat breakfast with E.
Run out the door.
Drive E to school.
Hit the gym.

I do this everyday (except on sick days, snow days and the weekends). It's funny but I don't even think about it anymore, but it seems the order is always the same… Going to the gym each day sounds obsessive but it helps to reset me and clear my mind. I call it my "happy pill" and it seems to work for me better than anything else. Plus it's fun to actually get out of the house and talk to other humans.

Yes, working from home can get lonely so I like to go exploring some days – like going to Ann Arbor for antiques/collectibles and of course my Georgia Reuben at Zingerman's. I also love to go to the bookstore, but I always end up with some diet book or cookbook! LOL!

My morning routine keeps me grounded… just like my cup of joe.


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Jan 08 09, originally uploaded by nrjanitz.

Winter in Michigan can get depressing. The days are often more overcast than sunny. In December it can get dark at a little before 5pm (sometimes quarter to!). And some nights I am in my jammies as early as 6! (Hey, it's dark and we're not going outside! ) LOL!

January gets a bit better as the days begin to lengthen and even though it is 15 degrees out and you can't feel your toes, it feels like hope. The sun peeks out from time-to-time and it gets dark later and later. I find myself getting very introspective during January and I tend to feel hopeful that this year will be THE year. You know what I mean. The year that I am more organized, more disciplined. The year I will lose 20 or 30 (or even 50!) pounds. The year I will begin to paint and write and hey, why not learn to play the piano?!

This photo, taken from my cell phone this morning, sums up my feelings for January.


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A Hope….

I found this quote today (thank you Chris!) and wanted to share it. I suddenly feel filled with hope and lots of gratitude.


"For I know the plans I have for you," 
declares the Lord,

"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. 
Plans to give you a future and a hope." 
Jeremiah 29:11

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Jan 4 09

Jan 4 09, originally uploaded by nrjanitz.

This is my little corner of the world.. my office. It sits literally in the corner of our spare bedroom. I love working from home but sometimes it can be a bit lonely. I do feel truly blessed to be able to make a living at something that I enjoy so much.

Today I took Ellie to a surprise birthday party for a classmate – little Kenny. They were in Kindergarten together but now Kenny is 10 years old! It was a fun surprise party at a local movie theatre. All the kids were in the dark theater when Kenny entered…. thinking it was just another movie crowd. When the previews started, it was a screen that said Happy 10th Birthday Kenny! and then they proceeded to show pictures of Kenny since birth. Then they went through and took all the kids orders and delivered popcorn, pop and pizza! Woohoo! It was quite a day!

Off to clean the house and get ready to go back to school tomorrow! 😦


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